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Ski Touring With Nick Parks

By Norma Green

Nick has been an International Mountain Guide since 1987 and founded Mountain Tracks in 2000. He is a member of the British Mountain Guides and has been a full IFMGA Mountain Guide since 1987. He has been leading mountain expeditions on skis and on foot for almost 20 years and he has journeyed with clients to some of the most remote corners of the globe.

The two locations he took us to during his talk were not the usual touring spot - more your remote and basic type! Firstly, very serious ski touring in the Caucasus Mountains in Russia. The group flew to Moscow, onwards to Mineralnye Vody then a 4 hour road journey to their base for 5 days where days of tours and ascents in the many valleys provided acclimatisation for the proposed ascent of Mt Elbrus (5642m) - the highest summit in Europe.

To reach the Elbrus area another rather rough road trip to the Baksan valley and the following day ascend to the Garabashi Huts or huts called (and looking like) "barrels". Next day there was another acclimatisation ascent then the following day an early start for the 8-10 hour ascent of Elbrus. This was successfully accomplished.

Touring in the Julian Alps in Slovenia provided another interesting aspect of the talk. The Julian Alps in Slovenia are at the extreme eastern end of the Alps. The mountains contain many magnificent peaks including Triglav, the three headed mountain at 2864m.

Unfortunately the writer became so engrossed in the talk and slide show, forgetting to make copious notes, so please do access the Mountain Tracks web site where you will see the huge range of tours and locations Nick and his team have to offer.